Blaze engulfs several floors of tower block near Canary Wharf
By Ted Hennessey, PA
More than 100 firefighters are tackling a blaze that has ripped through a 19-storey London tower block believed to be covered in flammable cladding.
The London Fire Brigade (LFB) was called to the New Providence Wharf development, near Canary Wharf, on Friday morning.
It said 125 firefighters and 20 engines are at the scene of the fire, which has engulfed three floors.
London Ambulance Service said a “number of people” have been treated, though the extent of their injuries is not yet known.
The building is said to be covered in the “same” type of cladding used on Grenfell Tower, according to residents.
One resident said on Instagram: “When your building has the same cladding as Grenfell Tower. Oh my god.”
Pictures and videos on social media show part of the building engulfed in flames, with thick grey smoke pouring out of the block, several stories high.
The fire comes just days after the Government’s post-Grenfell fire safety regulations, which campaigners argue could leave leaseholders paying tens of thousands of pounds to remove cladding on their buildings.
The LFB said: “Firefighters are tackling a blaze at a 19-storey block. Parts of the eighth, ninth and 10th floors are alight.
“The brigade’s 999 control officers have taken 13 calls to the fire.
“The brigade was called at 0855. Fire crews from Poplar, Millwall, Shadwell, Plaistow, Whitechapel and surrounding fire stations are at the scene.
“The cause of the fire is not known at this stage.”
The ambulance service said it has sent a “number of resources” to the scene.
A spokesman said: “They have treated a number of people, and remain at the scene, where they are working with other emergency services.”
Apsana Begum, the Poplar & Limehouse Labour MP, said on Twitter: “@LFBTowerHamlets are working to tackle a fire at New Providence Wharf.
“I met constituents here again recently – left unsafe for 2yrs+ without reports, surveys.
“Meanwhile developer Ballymore continue to build & profit in £ms.”
Sir Ed Davey, leader of the Liberal Democrats, tweeted: “My thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this awful fire – and with all those for whom it stirs memories and fears.
“It is simply a national scandal that more has not been done by government to remove this dangerous cladding.”
The PA news agency has approached building developer Ballymore for comment.